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Wiphala: Dual state flag of Bolivia

Last modified: 2017-10-19 by antónio martins
Keywords: wiphala | dual flag |
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Qulla Suyu flag
image by Kjell Roll Elgsaas and António Martins, 06 Oct 2017

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The squared rainbow flags (wiphala) associated with the Aymara and Inca people came to be used as a symbol of the indigenous population in Bolivia. In particular, they were used in political movements which led to the election of Evo Morales as president in 2005.

When the country’s new constitution was adopted in 2009, «the Wiphala» was included as one of the national symbols, along with the tricolour flag, the coat of arms and other non-flag symbols. This was followed by Decreto Supremo 241 on 5 August 2009, which set out the symbols and their use.

The Wiphala is defined in the same pattern as the Qullu Suyu Wiphala, and along with the national tricolour, is prescribed to be flown at government buildings and at private and public educational insitutions. Because of this prescription, the tricolour and the wiphala have been called «dual flags» of Bolivia.

The decree (Chapter II §4 “The Wiphala”, with illustrations; PDF, HTML) gives symbolism for each of the colours, sets out sizes for official flags (245 by 245 cm flying, 24.5 by 24.5 cm for a car or desktop flag), and Pantone codes for the colours:

  • ~RGB Red 485C
  • ~RGB Orange 165C
  • ~RGB Yellow P-CVU
  • ~RGB Green 356C
  • ~RGB Blue 286C
  • ~RGB Violet 266C

Jonathan Dixon, 25 Sep 2016

The wiphala (Quechua [Aymara, ed.] for "flag") in question is the flag of one of the four Inca suyu (= quadrants, provinces), the one usually associated with modern Bolivia: Qulla Suyu, the south or southeastern Inca province/quadrant.
António Martins, 02 Nov 2016

The current Head of State of Bolivia, Evo Morales, uses the flag of the Inca Empire [the Qulla Suyu flag] as a State flag on most official events.
Esteban Rivera, 31 Jul 2016

Recently, Bolivia changed its naval ensign. Now, this ensign bear in the canton two flags: the bolivian one and the whipala.
Jaume Ollé, 01 Nov 2016


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